Have you been lauding too much about your new superbike? It’s alright. Just keep your fingers crossed and hope that you don’t come across a Lightning LS-218. What is it, you ask? Sounds like a model name and number of some electronic gadget? To put things into perspective, look at these numbers: 200hp, 227Nm, and a top speed of 352km/h. That’s what this super electric motorcycle is all about.
Lightning Motorcycles is not a new name in the electric motorcycle industry. But chances are you might have not heard about it that much, or maybe never before. It is a startup that is focussed on electric bikes. And unlike other startups, Lightning Motorcycles has shown what it has got.
The LS-218 has been undergoing tests for many years now. And in these years it had achieved some amazing milestones that not only told the world its bright future but also boosted the motivation and confidence of the company to keep working tirelessly to make this electric motorcycle better until it’s ready to hit the production line.
And that has happened. Lighting Motorcycles has posted on their Facebook page a picture of LS-218s being hand-assembled at its production facility in San Jose, California. This is great news. Finally, after years of hard work the LS-218 is now going to reach the customers.
So here is why the Lightning LS-218 is such a great deal. There are numerous gas-powered bikes that have registered some unbelievable world records. People at Lightning Motorcycles wanted to have a place in those record books. Since electric motorcycles are now a reality and would increase in number in the future, Lightning Motorcycles thought why not put an electric bike in the world records book.
It all began when the company CEO Richard Hatfield decided to experiment with electric powered engines. He bought a Yamaha R1 with a blown engine, and using off the shelf batteries and electric engine, he created a hybrid bike. Four years later he created the first working prototype of the LS-218.
This prototype was put to test at the Bonneville Speed Trials and it reached a top speed of 279km/h! It might not sound much but don’t forget this was set by an electric bike which was not fully developed at that point. Two years down the line, the LS-218 was back at the Salts with some special fairings. This time it nailed it. It reached a top speed of 352km/h and set the World Record for the fastest electric motorcycle. It has also beaten all electric bikes as well as all gas-powered bikes at the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
Of course, the biggest question here is the range of the bike. Lightning says that there are three battery packs available – 12 kWh, 15 kWh, and 20 kWh. These provide a range of up to 190km, 240km, and 290km respectively before needing a charge. There is a Fast Charger to juice up the 12 kWh battery pack in only 30 minutes.
The retail price of the Lightning LS-218 on the company’s website starts at USD 38,888 (AED 142,845 approx). Let’s see when it begins to ship to the owners and when can we get to see it in person on the roads. If you buy one, don’t forget to let us know about it!